The Crown (season 3)

The third season of The Crown follows the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It consists of ten episodes and was released by Netflix on 17 November 2019.

The Crown
Season 3
The Crown season 3.jpeg
Promotional poster
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States[2]
No. of episodes10
Original networkNetflix
Original release17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of episodes

Olivia Colman stars as Elizabeth, along with main cast members Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Daniels, Jason Watkins, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Jane Lapotaire, Charles Dance, Josh O'Connor, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Maloney, Emerald Fennell, and Andrew Buchan. John Lithgow and Pip Torrens return in cameo appearances.[3]


The Crown traces the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 through to the early 2000s.[4]

Season three covers the time period between 1964 and 1977, beginning with Harold Wilson's election as prime minister and ending with the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II.[5] Events depicted include the unmasking of the Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, Sir Anthony Blunt as a Soviet spy,[6] Harold Wilson and Edward Heath's respective terms as prime minister,[7][3] the Aberfan disaster,[8] the Apollo 11 moon landing,[9] the 1969 Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales,[10] the death of the Duke of Windsor (the Queen’s uncle and the former King Edward VIII),[11] the death and state funeral of Winston Churchill,[12] and Princess Margaret's affair with Roddy Llewellyn that leads to divorce from Tony Armstrong-Jones.[13][14] US President Lyndon B. Johnson and Camilla Shand also feature.[3][15]




The following actors are credited in the opening titles of up to two episodes:


Notable guestsEdit


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
211"Olding"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
In October 1964, as Britain welcomes new Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Elizabeth hears rumours that Wilson is working for the KGB under the alias "Olding". She rebuffs them as gossip but learns from a dying Winston Churchill that he was suspicious of Wilson during his time as Prime Minister. Margaret, now Countess of Snowdon, suffers a failing marriage to Tony. The following year, while at Churchill's funeral, Elizabeth witnesses Wilson engage in conversation with Russians. In Washington, D.C., a sleeper agent informs the Department of Justice of a KGB mole inside Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth later discovers that her art advisor, Sir Anthony Blunt, is the mole but decides to keep the truth secret for fear of reputational damage. Philip confronts Blunt and finds he knows about the Profumo affair.
222"Margaretology"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
In 1965, Margaret and Tony embark on a tour of the United States, visiting cities along the West Coast and staying with an Arizona family before attending Tony's book launch in New York. In the UK, Wilson tells Elizabeth that the country needs a financial bailout from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and invites him to come to Britain to discuss the issue. After three failed attempts, Wilson concludes that Johnson declines because the United Kingdom did not support America in the Vietnam War. At the last minute, Johnson invites Margaret to a private dinner at the White House, where her informality and sense of fun persuades him to help with the bailout. Philip later advises Elizabeth not to give her any more responsibilities.
233"Aberfan"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
In October 1966, following the Aberfan disaster, Elizabeth decides not to visit the village, despite Wilson's attempts to convince her to go. Philip attends the funeral of the children who died. The public blames the National Coal Board for the disaster before blame shifts toward the government. Hearing suggestions that she is not being sympathetic, Elizabeth confronts Wilson, who says this came from someone in his cabinet. Elizabeth later visits Aberfan, laying flowers on the graves and visiting grieving families. In private, she cries while listening to a recording of the hymn sung at the children's funeral.
244"Bubbikins"Benjamin CaronPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
Elizabeth learns that Princess Alice, who has been living in Athens, Greece, is in danger from the recent imposition of military rule. She arranges for Alice to come and stay at Buckingham Palace, despite Philip's protests. As Elizabeth and Anne look after Alice, the royal family participates in a documentary to show the public they are normal people. Critics rebuff the documentary, prompting Philip to arrange an interview for Anne with Guardian reporter John Armstrong. However, Armstrong interviews Alice instead, and the subsequent article is a success, resulting in Philip making amends with his mother.
255"Coup"Christian SchwochowPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
In 1967, Elizabeth and Porchey travel to France and America to learn about modern methods of racehorse breeding and training, while Wilson finally decides to devalue the pound. Cecil Harmsworth King meets Lord Mountbatten, and proposes a plan to replace Wilson. Mountbatten is attracted by the idea, but raises concerns about whether it is practicable. Wilson calls Elizabeth to raise his suspicions. Elizabeth scolds Mountbatten, who later visits Alice to discuss old age and their place in society.
266"Tywysog Cymru"Christian SchwochowJames Graham & Peter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
On advice from Wilson, Elizabeth sends Charles, who has found happiness and a taste for amateur dramatics at Cambridge, to Wales to learn Welsh before his investiture as Prince of Wales. He befriends tutor Tedi Millward and becomes sympathetic to his Welsh nationalism. Charles's decision to include statements in his speech expressing support for Wales, irritates Elizabeth. Charles requests a meeting with his mother, hoping for appreciation or even affection, but receives neither; he is told he must suppress his personal opinions. Charles returns to Cambridge and stars in a performance of Richard II, where Anne is in attendance.
277"Moondust"Jessica HobbsPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
In 1969, during the first Moon landing, Philip starts feeling dissatisfied with his lack of achievement and searches for inspiration. When Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin visit Britain as part of their world tour, Philip arranges a private interview. Asking them what being on the Moon was like, he is disappointed by their mundane answers and their elementary questions about palace life. Philip later complains about the Dean of Windsor, prompting Elizabeth to have the Dean retire and name Robin Woods his successor. Woods invites Philip to take part in the religious academy he has opened in the castle grounds. Philip tells the group he has lost his faith following his mother's recent death, and asks for their help in restoring it.
288"Dangling Man"Sam DonovanDavid Hancock & Peter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
Charles is in a love triangle with Andrew Parker Bowles and his girlfriend Camilla Shand. Anne has an affair with Parker Bowles. Elizabeth meets the Duke of Windsor before his death; they reflect upon the circumstances that led to her becoming Queen. He asks for forgiveness, but she remarks that she is sometimes thankful that he abdicated. He gives her Charles’s letters to him, which she reads with concern. Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister following the 1970 general election.
299"Imbroglio"Sam DonovanPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)

Electricity supply is being rationed because of the miners' strike.

Charles trains at Dartmouth. Lord Mountbatten and Elizabeth succeed in stopping the relationship between Charles and Camilla – Charles is posted overseas in the Caribbean for eight months.

After the Queen Mother talks to the parents of Parker Bowles and Camilla, they get married. The Queen hears from Anne about her affair with Parker Bowles and her belief that Camilla is destined for him, not Charles.
3010"Cri de Coeur"Jessica HobbsPeter Morgan17 November 2019 (2019-11-17)
After her marriage continues to fall apart, Margaret is introduced to Roddy Llewellyn, and they begin a relationship. They visit the Caribbean, where they are photographed together; the pictures are printed in the newspapers. Elizabeth calls them back to Britain based on advice from her mother. Amidst turnover in Parliament, Margaret attempts suicide, although after Elizabeth visits her, they bond again and talk about her failed marriage and their age. Britain celebrates Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, marking her 25th anniversary as sovereign on 7 June 1977.



By October 2017, early production had begun on an anticipated third and fourth season,[16] and by the following January, Netflix confirmed the series had been renewed for a third and fourth season.[7]


The producers recast some roles with older actors every two seasons, as the characters age.[29] In October 2017, Olivia Colman was cast as Queen Elizabeth II for the third and fourth seasons.[16] By January 2018, Helena Bonham Carter and Paul Bettany were in negotiations to portray Princess Margaret and Prince Philip, respectively, for these seasons.[30][31] However, by the end of the month Bettany was forced to drop out due to the time commitment required.[14] By the end of March 2018, Tobias Menzies was cast as Philip.[17] In early May 2018, Bonham Carter was confirmed to have been cast, alongside Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson.[18] The next month, Ben Daniels was cast as Tony Armstrong-Jones for the third season,[19] along with Erin Doherty as Princess Anne.[20] A month later, Josh O'Connor and Marion Bailey were cast as respectively Prince Charles and the Queen Mother.[22] In October 2018, Emerald Fennell was cast as Camilla Shand.[27] In December 2018, Charles Dance was cast as Louis Mountbatten.[21]


The third season began filming in July 2018.[32]


The Crown: Season Three
Soundtrack album by
Released22 November 2019 (2019-11-22)
LabelSony Music
The Crown music chronology
The Crown: Season Two
The Crown: Season Three
The Crown: Season Four
Martin Phipps soundtrack chronology
The Aftermath
The Crown: Season Three
The Crown: Season Four
1."New Queen"3:56
2."Black Widow"2:01
3."The Establishment"2:58
8."Simple Harp"2:29
9."Stretched Choir"2:13
15."Man on the Moon"4:09
16."Better for Everyone"2:37
Total length:48:08


The third season was released on Netflix worldwide in its entirety on 17 November 2019,[33][18][34][35] and consists of ten episodes.[28]


Rotten Tomatoes reported a 90% approval rating for the third season based on 100 reviews, with an average rating of 8.54/10. Its critical consensus reads: "Olivia Colman shines, but as The Crown marches on in reliably luxurious fashion through time it finds space for the characters around her, providing ample opportunity for the appealing ensemble to gleam, too."[36] On Metacritic, the season holds a score of 84 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[37]

Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Anita Singh called the series "by far, the best soap opera on television".[38] The Los Angeles Times's Lorraine Ali praised the attention to historical detail and the performances, particularly from Colman and Bonham Carter.[39] The Guardian's Lucy Mangan praised the "top-notch performances", adding that the season is "so confident and so precision-engineered that you don't notice the defects".[23] Daniel Fienberg for The Hollywood Reporter judged the cast transition to be a success, adding the series "remains a model for carefully crafted episodic storytelling".[5]

There was some criticism of the lack of nuance within the writing. The BBC's Hugh Montgomery found it "increasingly on the nose", with the season "the best yet".[40] Alison Rowat from The Herald opined some scenes were "over-engineered" and dialogue "too on the nose", but nevertheless that it excels as a political drama.[41] Vulture's Jen Chaney found the writing "a bit heavy-handed" in nevertheless "an absorbing, thoroughly enriching experience".[28] Reviewing for Variety, Caroline Framke thought the series does not always succeed in humanising the royal family, but when it does, it is "as compelling a portrait of how power warps individuals, and the world along with them, as exists on TV".[26]

Ed Power from The Independent was less complimentary, praising Colman's performance but finding the series somewhat "colourless".[42]


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External linksEdit